Co-Chairs

Kim Baird, Kim Baird Strategic Consulting, Tsawwassen, BC. Kim was the elected Chief of the Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) for six terms, from 1999-2012. She had the honour of negotiating and implementing British Columbia’s first urban treaty on April 3, 2009 and oversaw numerous economic and institutional development projects for TFN, including initiating the Tsawwassen Mills project. She also has served on BC Hydro’s Board of Directors for 6 years, and is currently on several boards including the Canada Public Policy Forum, Clear Seas, and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Kim holds an Institute of Corporate Director’s designation, and has been appointed to the British Columbia Premier’s Aboriginal Business Investment Council, the Order of Canada, and the Order of British Columba. She is a proud mother of three young girls and her ancestral name is Kwuntiltunaat.

   

Doug McArthur, Distinguished Fellow, Institute of Public Policy, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC. Doug McArthur teaches graduate courses in the political foundations of public policy, the theory of public policy and the public-policy process, resources policy, aboriginal policy, and negotiations. He was formerly deputy minister to the Premier, cabinet secretary, and deputy minister of Aboriginal Affairs in B.C; cabinet secretary and chief land claims negotiator in the Yukon; and deputy minister of Agriculture and deputy minister of Northern Saskatchewan in Saskatchewan. He was also a past chair of the Saskatchewan Native Economic Development Corporation and is currently an advisor to the Tsawwassen First Nation, both pre- and post-treaty.

 

 

Faculty

   

Thomas Berger, O.C., Q.C., O.B.C., Aldridge + Rosling LLP, Vancouver, B.C. Now a practising lawyer in Vancouver, Thomas Berger served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia from 1971 – 1983. During that time, he was Commissioner of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry 1974-77. From 1983-85, he was Chairman of the Alaska Native Review Commission. In 1991 – 1992 he served as deputy chairman of the World Bank’s Sardar Sarovar Commission in India. Before going on the bench Mr. Berger was counsel for the Nisga’a in the Calder case. Recently he was counsel for the Métis in Manitoba Métis Federation v. Canada.

   

Ben Bisset, Manager of Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs, Tsawwassen First Nation, Tsawwassen, B.C. Ben is currently responsible for policy development, intergovernmental relations, territory management, and communications for the Tsawwassen First Nation. Previously, Ben worked as a policy analyst for Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Global Affairs Canada, as well as in communications and research positions for the Government of British Columbia. He holds master’s degrees in public administration and political science from Dalhousie University.

   

Celeste Haldane, Celeste Haldane was elected Commissioner for a third two-year term by the First Nations Summit in February 2015. She is currently the Acting Chief Commissioner. Celeste is a practising lawyer and holds an LL.M. in Constitutional Law from Osgoode Hall Law School [York University], and an LL.B. and B.A. both from the University of British Columbia. In 2015 she began her Doctorate at UBC in Anthropology & Law. The Provincial Government appointed her to serve on the UBC Board of Governors and the Legal Services Society. Celeste is an active member of the Canadian Bar Association and the Indigenous Bar Association. She is a 2015 alumni of the Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference. Celeste is a member of the Sparrow family from Musqueam and is Tsimshian through Metlakatla. She previously served as the Chair of the Musqueam Land Code Committee, a member of the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, the Housing & Capital Committee, and the Matrimonial Real Property Committee.  Celeste is the proud mother of three and grandmother of two. 

   

Melissa Louie, Lawyer, Morgan & Associates, West Vancouver, B.C. Melissa Louie, Kahahxstahlas, is a Citizen of the Tla’amin Nation, located north of Powell River, BC. Melissa is a Coast Salish lawyer who has worked with Morgan and Associates since being admitted to the bar in 2008. Melissa holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice from UCFV and an LL.B. from UBC Faculty of Law. Prior to pursuing a legal career, Melissa worked with a number of First Nations participating in treaty negotiations, including as a member of Tla’amin Nation’s treatynegotiation team. Melissa has broad and practical experience providing legal, political, and strategic policy advice on a wide range of treaty-related and Aboriginal title and rights issues. Melissa also works closely with First Nations on various governance-related matters such as drafting constitutions, policies, laws, and regulations.

 

John R. Rich, Emeritus Lawyer, Ratcliff & Company LLP, North Vancouver, BC. John has represented First Nation Governments as general counsel and in litigation for over 25 years. He has conducted several major trials respecting aboriginal rights and historic claims, including Lax Kw’alaams Indian Band v. Canada and Ahousaht et al v. Canada, regarding commercial fishing rights, and Squamish Band v. Canada, regarding historic entitlement to the Kitsilano reserve. He is a former President of Ecojustice, and a former Director of the Georgia Straight Alliance and the West Coast Environmental Law Association. He has been given the name Tekw’emtn (Captain) by the Squamish Nation.

   

Angela Wesley, Partner, Wes-Can Advisory Services, Terrace, BC. Ms. Wesley is a proud member of the Huu-ay-aht First Nation (Nuu-chah-nulth), and has worked since 1980 with First Nations communities throughout BC. Since 1992, she has been providing advisory services in the areas of strategic planning, community development, communications and community engagement, and governance capacity building. In recent years, her focus has been on providing assistance to her own Nation as well as the four other First Nations that are signatory to the Maa-nulth Treaty. As Chair of the Huu-ay-aht Constitution Committee and member of the Huu-ay-aht treaty, governance and lands/resources committees, she was instrumental in the development and community ratification of the treaty, the Huuayaht First Nations Constitution and a suite of foundational laws that set the stage for her Nation’s return to self-governance as of April 1, 2011. Ms. Wesley has acted as Speaker for the Huu-ay-aht First Nation legislature and People’s Assembly and serves as the Maa-nulth representative on the tripartite Implementation Committee. She is the Board Chair for the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology and a Board member of the Royal British Columbia Museum.

 

Chief Kirby Whiteduck, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation, Pikwakanagan, Ontario. Chief Kirby Whiteduck has spent all of his employment working for and with Pikwakanagan and First Nation Organizations. After University, he was employed for two years with the Union of Ontario Indians researching Pikwakanagan’s land claim, and worked as a Social and Education Counsellor at the Ottawa Native Counselling Unit. Other employment and commitments have all been with and in support of Pikwakanagan in varying capacities such as Manager of Education Services, Manager of Fish and Wildlife Commission, Researcher, Advisor, and Land Claim Negotiator. Kirby is now in his 14th year as Chief and he currently holds the portfolios for Communications, Finance, Administration and Personnel, Child and Family Services, and Negotiations. He is the author of Algonquin Traditional Culture, published in 2002, which details the traditional culture of the Algonquins of the Kitchissippi Valley at the early period of European contact.

   

Harry Swain, Associate Fellow, Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C. Harry Swain was deputy minister of Indian and Northern Affairs in 1987-92 and has written extensively on related matters. His book Oka was runner-up for the Donner Prize in 2010. He contributed to several successful negotiations, notably in the Arctic and on Saskatchewan Treaty Land Entitlement. Recently, he chaired the federal-provincial review panel on Site C, where treaty rights remain unresolved. A critique of current land claims policy is in the December 2016 issue of the Canadian Business Law Journal.